Looking to up your productivity game? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Utilizing smart productivity hacks is a great way to push yourself to that next level.
Something to keep in mind though: productivity is an ever-changing landscape. What worked for you today won’t necessarily work for you tomorrow. So, if you’re looking to increase your productivity, what you really need is to be deliberate with your time.
One way that you can do that is through productivity hacks. In fact, when applied properly, it will feel like your productivity levels have increased by 400%.
Now you may be wondering… How did you arrive at 400%?
And the answer is… err… a little un-scientific. That number isn’t a cold hard stat, it’s more a feeling. Like, after implementing some or all or even just one of the productivity hacks listed below, you will feel more productive. Are you really 400% more productive?
But what I do know is that through these hacks you will be able to get more of the right stuff done and better manage your time.
Everyone wants to be more productive. They want to get more done faster and faster and faster.
If you stop and consider why you actually want to be more productive, you may think it’s:
- Because you want to be more efficient
- Or so that you can prove to others how hard working you are
- Or just to get things done quickly for the sake of productivity
But that is too small of thinking. You need to think bigger!
Understand that productivity and time management aren’t the end-all-be-all.
In actuality, they are tools that, when used properly, will allow you to achieve something much grander. That by effectively managing your time and by making progress each day on what matters, you will be able to create an amazing life for yourself – one where you achieve your goals and ultimate objectives.
Two a month
One of the goals I’ve set for myself this year is to complete two books a month. Now, for my fast readers out there, that may seem like an easy to-do.
But I’m no fast reader.
I crawl along at a measly pace.
So completing two books a month is a daunting goal for myself, but is one that I’m immensely excited about. After all, the more I read, the more I learn, and the more I share with you! It’s a win-win.
To successfully achieve that goal though, I need to do things differently than how I’ve done them in the past.
If I want to push myself to new levels, I have to be smart about my time. I need to be deliberate with my reading efforts and utilize the power of productivity to make sure I’m making the progress that I need to each day.
You should see the things that you want to achieve in that same light.
If you are productive with your time, you can make real progress and reach new levels of whatever it is that you’re after. So don’t just view these productivity hacks as a way to do things quicker; see them as a way to create more time for yourself.
Time that can be spent working towards your goals, building a better future, being the architect of your life. See these hacks as a way to get closer to where you want to go!
*By the way, if you want to learn more about my reading goal for the year, check this out.
1. Productivity hacks – Batch similar tasks
One of the best productivity hacks is also one of the simplest – group similar tasks together. For example, you can:
- Respond to all your email
- Edit large quantities of photos
- Or write down several sets of notes
Focus on one theme of tasks at a time to better utilize your focus.
2. Make a Wins List
As you go about your day, keep a list of wins that you acquire. That could be finishing your report, doing well in a meeting, or making some progress on a goal.
Each win you add to your list will make you more motivated to get things done. As your Wins list grows longer, so will your enthusiasm to add things to it.
3. Productivity hacks – Play a wordless song
On repeat. On a loop. Play that song (or playlist) over and over again.
Is that to drive you insane? No, it’s to help you focus! One of my favorite productivity hacks is to play songs without words in them because they are known to improve your focus over an extended period of time.
4. Have a pad nearby for distracting thoughts
Distracting thoughts ruining your concentration? Have a notepad nearby where you can quickly jot ideas down and get back to the task at hand.
Doing so will allow you to remove that thought from your mind and get back to what needs to get done.
Personally, I use the Notes app on my phone. Then at the end of the day, I go through that note and move the tasks to whatever relevant Google Doc I have allotted for that task or project.
5. Productivity hacks – Finish what you start
Start a task. Finish it completely. Then move onto the next one.
If you’re wondering how to increase your productivity, this is one you need to keep in mind! It’s an incredibly simple productivity hack that, when used, makes a huge difference in what you’re able to get done.
Next time you set out on a task, make sure you finish it before doing something else. If you don’t, you are basically just piling up laundry in your head.
Having a hard time focusing? Here’s a good technique to try.
6. Take baby steps
This is one of my favorite productivity hacks – start small.
If you are working on a particularly daunting task, write down the first thing that you need to get done in order to make progress. In other words, what is the next immediate action that you can take on the matter?
Decide that and then get after it. Start small and with time you will make a mountain of progress.
7. Productivity hacks – Find your timing
One of the best productivity hacks for executives, entrepreneurs, and people with aspirations in general is to find your ideal timing. In other words, you need to uncover which time period during the day you are most productive and effective in.
Morning, afternoon, or evening.
Because in order to best utilize your time, you need to understand which block you are most effective in and then tailor your schedule to capitalize on it. So try this – take three important tasks that you need to do tomorrow. Plan to do one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
Then at the end of the day, consider how effective you felt during each of those times.
If you always considered yourself a night owl but seemed to make a lot more progress in the morning, consider changing your schedule around to capitalize on the AM instead of the PM (or vice versa depending on how it went).
Another great method for saving time is to automate repetitive tasks.
- Hate manually paying bills? Set up automatic payments.
- Tired of physically tracking all of your expenses? Use a service that aggregates all the info for you.
- Dislike keeping track of your written notes? Use an app that lets you carry them across all your devices.
Think of things in your life that you can automate, then set things up in a way so that you no longer need to deal with them.
9. Productivity hacks – Delegate
Similar to automating, delegating is another one of the great productivity hacks.
Because it allows you to offload some of the menial tasks that you are responsible for each day.
Whether that’s hiring a virtual assistant, leaning more on your colleagues, or using a third-party service to clean your apartment, delegate tasks out to others so that you can focus on the things that matter most to you.
10. Learn to prioritize
Figure out what tasks have the biggest impact on your life and work on those first. Then, once the important items are handled, move onto your other tasks.
By starting each day with your most important task first, you ensure that you put your energy and effort towards something meaningful.
11. Productivity hacks – Wake up earlier
Try going to bed and waking up one hour earlier than you normally would. Then use that newfound time before the craziness of the day begins to work towards your goal – whatever that may be.
Personally, ever since I started waking up an hour earlier, I’ve gotten a lot more done and have moved even faster in the right direction. It’s been a real life-changer.
12. Create templates
Templates are an amazing way to save time. Want an example?
Well, if you send the same email over and over again, you can create a template instead so that you can easily insert or copy and paste right into the message.
Think of areas in your life that use the same words repetitively and create templates for them so that you don’t have to write from scratch each time.
13. Productivity hacks – Make checklists
Templates and checklists. Two amazing tools to increase your productivity.
When used properly, checklists are a great way to help you stay focused and on task. You can use them to list to-dos, chronicle your priorities, or help relieve overwhelm.
I’m a huge proponent of making lists.
14. Turn off mobile notifications
Spend some time digging through the settings of your phone and turn off the notifications for any apps that could easily distract you (I’m looking at you, IG).
To go one step further, when you really don’t want to lose your focus you can also put your phone in a different room or turn on airplane mode.
15. Productivity hacks – Clean your desk
When it comes to productivity hacks at work (or really anytime you sit at a desk), this one tops the list.
When you sit down to start a task or are ending your day, clean off your desk. Doing so will allow you to start fresh and tackle the task at hand with a clear mind.
And when getting organized, try not to spend too much time cleaning (ie. procrastinating). Be quick and get to work!
16. Disable desktop notifications
Similar to turning off mobile notifications, you’ll want to go ahead and disable desktop notifications as well.
The fewer things you have popping up and distracting you, the better.
17. Productivity hacks – Follow the two minute rule
This is one that I picked up listening to Getting Things Done by David Allen (details here). If a task arises that will take you less than two minutes to complete, go ahead and do it right away.
It will be easier for you to quickly take care of it now as opposed to having it rattle around in your mind until you tackle it later.
18. Do a five second countdown
Here’s a great productivity hack if you’re running low on motivation. Next time you find yourself looking at a task that you don’t want to do, countdown in your head from five.
By the time you get to zero, get up and start working on it. Simple, but effective.
19. Productivity hacks – Avoid decision fatigue
Reduce the amount of decisions that you need to make each day. Doing so will allow you to make better, clearer choices instead of trying to decide while in a fog of fatigue.
Plan things out ahead of time, put systems into place, and limit the amount of real decisions you need to make.
A great example is meals. Monday through Friday I pretty much eat the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. For one thing, the foods I eat are very healthy so I know I’m getting the right nutrients.
Second, I save a lot of time by not having to decide what to eat each day.
Third, because my meals are so routined, I can completely check out, listen to an audiobook without having to think about the kind of salad I’m making, and work towards my book-completing-goal while doing my food thing.
And fourth, that’s one less decision I have to make. So in theory, I’ll have more decision making power later on in the day for something important.
20. Make time for you
Ending the list of productivity hacks is one of the most important – self care. You need to spend time taking care of yourself!
Take a break and rest when you need it so that your mind and body are able to function at 100%. A healthy you is a productive you. And a productive you is a you that is moving in the right direction.
Moving forward with your productivity hacks
Productivity hacks are a great way to get more done and better utilize your time. But remember, they are just a tool to help you achieve something larger.
Apply these hacks towards your goals and start making progress on that great life you’re building for yourself.
Don’t feel the need to do everything at once, though. Just try one hack at a time. If it helps, keep doing it. If you don’t feel like it’s making you any more productive, ditch it and try one of the other ones.
There is no right or wrong, there is only what works for you.
Give it a try!